This movie got me at “Anarchy”.
The “New Founding Fathers” has a strict, totalitarian rule over America. With the 28th constitutional amendment, they created the Purge, which is an annual event where for 12 hours, all forms of crime including murder becomes legal, and all services such as hospitals and law enforcement are temporarily shut down. It is believed that the Purge is a form of “cleansing” where citizens get the chance to release their angst and aggression, and the reason why unemployment and poverty levels are at an all-time low, while crime is virtually non-existent for the rest of the year.
When the annual Purge commenced in 2023, a couple named Shane and Liz, A waitress named Eva Sanchez and her daughter Cali, and police sergeant Leo Barnes, are out in the streets, being pursued by masked and armed men. The group must now stay together to survive the night, but they soon realize that on a night where crime is legal, anyone can be your enemy.
The Purge: Anarchy Trailer
My frustration with the first Purge film was that it had such an interesting backstory with a lot of potential, but fell short when it came to execution. A premise where citizens of a whole country can do almost everything they fancied without any legal consequence, would have been a gold mine for creativity, but instead the movie turned out to be just another home invasion flick.
The Purge: Anarchy gave me what I was looking for in its predecessor. From the single-home setting of the first film, this sequel now takes us outside into the streets of LA, giving us a bigger perspective of the chaos that happens on Purge night. We see more interesting characters, and we also get a deeper look at the culture and society that this “holiday” has created.
Admittedly though, the coverage of the movie was not as large as the nationwide scale that I was hoping for, but with the hints of a revolution in this second film, there is some reason to believe that this could happen in a third installment. The Purge: Anarchy is no doubt better than the first Purge film.
From “Take Care” to “Stay Safe”
The Purge Anarchy gives us a broader perspective of the movie’s dystopian society. As we are brought outside into the streets, we get to see more of the culture that the Purge has created – from how it has become a part of business and trade, to how it is now some sort of yearly ritual.
Another notable element in the film is how “Stay safe” has been a customary greeting, like how we say “Merry Christmas” or “April Fools!” or “Take Care”. It’s disturbing if you think about it, how danger has become perennial and killing has become an accepted trend.
The Power in Purging
I appreciate the fact that the movie has elements of social relevance; this way it didn’t turn out to be just another gore-porn film. All over the movie we get some obvious hints that the Purge isn’t really just about “cleansing”, it’s really about power play and struggle. The rich are buying off the poor for their own private purging, and the lower class has become some of game to be hunted by those who have money. Sure, unemployment is at an all-time low, but couldn’t this just be because the unemployed are getting killed-off? Sure, nobody is breaking the laws, but isn’t this just because crime is already being permitted by the law?
If you think about it, who is getting killed on Purge night? It’s the poor who have no capability to protect themselves. It’s the poor who cannot afford to buy themselves high-tech security equipment and weapons. It’s the poor who are left in the streets when everyone is out to kill someone.
What’s even more terrifying is that when the citizens are “not killing enough”, the Government takes matters into their own hands. To keep the population low, the Government sends out professional “purgers” who does the killing, targeting specific houses and individuals.
Thankfully, The Purge: Anarchy didn’t make it to my list of sequels that sucked. It was a whole lot better than its predecessor and with the rate that it’s going, I can say that we may expect something better if ever a third installment comes along.